Have You Considered These 5 Brand Protection Ideas?
Marketers, including those in the nonprofit sector, seem to be talking about how quickly technology is evolving. No sooner have we mastered one thing, it’s off to the next thing. Even understanding how Google Analytics works means working on it every day to understand it fully. My tip for any nonprofit marketer or fundraiser is just diving into every platform you use daily. Once you tinker with it, all the time, you'll master it, as we do for our shoe drive fundraising brand.
However, while we're continually learning, we also have to protect our brands. The evolution of technology means that spammers and others who don't have the best interest of your brand in mind can hijack or hack what you're doing. In short, it's super important that you keep the following ideas in mind to protect your brand!
1. How to Prevent Your Domain from Getting Hijacked
Yes, it happens. Your domain could get hijacked. Therefore, your marketing team, including your developers, must know how to prevent it from happening. There are two ways you could find yourself in trouble. First, your domain name could get hacked. Second, the web hosting server could get hacked. Either way, you've got problems.
Unfortunately, it's not news that nonprofits operate with limited budgets. And that means that criminals and hackers understand there's an opportunity — lots of it. Digital safety for your site and web hosting server is not a "by the way." Take steps to protect your domain and donor data information.
2. What’s This About Brand Safety?
Stealing and criminal behavior has gone fully digital. That's why we find ourselves with consumers, and donors, increasingly pushing for privacy and data protection. However, you also have to protect your brand. Yes, your brand could suffer a problem digitally if it's perceived as being associated with something you don't want.
Brand safety is an issue that keeps marketers up at night. It means figuring out the ways that a brand could prevent itself from getting associated with inappropriate brands. Some tactics include domain and keyword blacklisting. Still, you have to learn how to block on the digital platforms you use, including social media.
3. Protecting Your Brand, Logo and Taglines
Again, you have many people out there who either want to copy you, especially if you're successful, or want to counterfeit your brand. You can't allow for either of those things to happen. So, you must protect your brand, logo, taglines and other digital assets that are wholly associated with your brand.
You could do this by trademarking and copywriting your assets and content. A nonprofit lawyer could help enormously. No funds, no problem. You could get pro-bono lawyers who work specifically in the nonprofit sector. For content, and to make sure competitors aren’t stealing your content, use a tool like Copyscape.
4. Contextual Advertising Is Replacing the Cookies
As we know, cookies have ruled for a long time, but people have become much more aware of protecting their data information and privacy. That's where contextual advertising comes into the picture. Everyone needs to promote their brands, and that certainly includes nonprofits.
Google prioritizes user experience, and so contextual advertising makes a lot of sense. The idea is to place ads on pages related to that same topic. So, if you lead an education nonprofit, your ad appears in an article about education. This kind of advertising is much more targeted, and technology helps lower the cost of ads.
5. Squatters Happen Digitally, Too
The chances are you don’t know about cybersquatting or typosquatting. Why should you? You’re not a bad person. You’re in the nonprofit sector trying to make a difference in the world. Nevertheless, you need to be aware of these terms because they could seriously hurt your brand.
Let's say you're a leader in your community and on the search engine results page. Someone may look to appear as you by using a similar name, save for one digit — and then work to rank above you! Alternatively, someone may take the .com, .net or other URL extensions that should belong to you. Most nonprofits have a .org, so a thief might steal the .com and pretend to operate as you. You don't want squatters so pick up any of the URL extensions.
In sum, your nonprofit brand has to be aware that there are people out there looking to divert your donors and others to scam them for support. Moreover, trolls prefer to wreak havoc on the internet for fun and profit. The more powerful digital technology becomes, the easier it gets for bad people to do bad things with your brand. So look to protect your brand continuously, especially as technology opens up new paths for bad actors.
Kristy Fontelera is a creative professional in corporate and nonprofit social media advertising and brand strategy. As the chief marketing officer at Funds2Orgs and Elsey Enterprises, she works with a suite of global fundraising brands and manages national campaigns for her clients. She hosts a monthly webinar with Funds2Orgs, teaching nonprofits how to make an impact with their social media strategy. Kristy is a passionate individual that loves nothing more than to help others make an impact in their market and the world.
Kristy also contributes monthly to her NonProfit PRO blog, “Marketing IRL.”